Appearance, Beauty and Success
A key motive to lose weight is to improve physical appearance. The weight
loss industry is directed at women who are moderately overweight (within 80
pounds of their ideal body weight). Weight loss ads show before and after
pictures of women who have improved their appearance by losing weight. While
looking good and feeling good are strongly connected, there are some deep
misunderstandings that often confuse women who want to look better, but at the
same time seek to be accepted for who they are at any weight.
There is a struggle in modern societies between the concepts of equality and
fair play and the innate tendency to prefer beautiful, healthy, and physically
fit individuals. While the advantage of being attractive and fit should be
obvious, women in particular complain that they are unfairly compared with
models and movie stars. A popular but wrong nurture assumption claims that the
preference for the young and beautiful is a construct of society, created by
advertising, magazines and movies. This preference is natural and ancient.
Overweight people complain that they suffer from discrimination and
sometimes humiliation. The sad fact for overweight people is that there is an
inborn judgment that transcends culture and cannot be easily erased. The
evaluation of appearance and the judgment that someone is attractive and healthy
has an innate basis, modified by learning and experience, but not caused by
learning and experience. The elemental features of beauty are the attributes of
young, healthy, strong and fertile humans. Smooth, blemish-free skin;
symmetrical bodies and faces and good proportions suggest good genes, physical
competence and child bearing capacity.
All humans are expert critics of others, but poor evaluators of their own
appearance and behavior. Part of the overweight solution is to become realistic
about how you are perceived by others. Humans prefer to hire, associate with and
mate with the most beautiful people they can find. Good-looking people are
always considered to be more intelligent and more capable than less-attractive
peers. Teachers prefer normal-weight, attractive children, offer them
higher marks and are more optimistic about their future.
Attractive, normal weight people do better in business and most profession,
earning higher incomes and achieve higher prestige. For jobs that require public
presence, a "good appearance” is more important than education or sociability.
Attractive people are less likely to be suspects in criminal investigations and.
are treated more leniently by judges and juries.
Tovee et al found that a woman is perceived by both males and
females to be more attractive if her weight looks right for her height. Two
factors were considered; the Body Mass Index(in kilograms per meter
squared) and the ratio of waist to hip. A BMI within the normal range was the
strongest determinant of attractiveness. This finding connects the innate
notions of attractiveness to health. The BMI is an indirect measure of present
and future health and of reproductive potential.
Much human activity is generated by the interest in appearance and in every
society, elaborate efforts are made to modify and improve appearance with
clothing and cosmetics. This was not invented in the 20th century; movies and
magazines did not invent this activity, they simply manifest a deep innate
tendency. The most recent addition to this basic human activity is plastic
surgery. Apparently, there is no end in sight for the plastic surgeons who
command handsome sums for their work. In a US survey, more almost half of women
were dissatisfied with their appearance and would go to a plastic surgeon if
they could afford it.
Liposuction can remove fat in minutes that may take months to burn off with
exercise. The fat cells removed will not be replaced. If you continue to
eat too much and exercise too little, other fat cells can grow larger, however,
and fill in the void left by liposuction. You should not think of
liposuction as a weight loss strategy. It is a sculpting technique that
works best if a small amount of fat needs to be removed to improve the shape of
the lower abdomen, breasts, buttocks and thighs.